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“Lovely location, not quite worth the price”

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Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass
Certificate of Excellence
Milton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
84 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Lovely location, not quite worth the price”
Reviewed 23 March 2013

You can't beat the setting of this lodge overlooking and the sheep muster and sheering demonstration were a highlight of our trip to the South Island. We found the trips with the naturalist to be fairly priced overall and well worth it. The short nature walk through the beech forest that leaves right from the lodge was lovely and well worth doing and the accompanying brochure taught us quite a lot about the local environment. The rooms, despite their lovely views, are a bit dated and really don't offer the luxury one would expect for the price. At this price point (we have stayed at other hotels similar), I would have expected transport from the train station, lunch and wine to be included. If you do come by train, you'll be limited to hikes on the property unless you sign up for the daily excursion as Arthur's Pass Village is about a 20 minute drive. We really enjoyed dining with other guests and had some delightful evening conversations; if that's not for you, you can choose to dine with at a table with your travel companion.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank AlisaAAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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230 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cardiff
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2013

Fabulous hotel if you want to walk, canoe, or visit a farm. Nothing close enough for a day trip. Really helpful staff. Fabulous views. Modern hotel. Drive to Arthur's Pass is not to be missed, views are stunning. Well worth the drive.

Room Tip: Only go if you know what is on offer or you have arranged some outdoor activity. Fabulous for a qui...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank annymac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
146 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2013

We stayed for 3 nights, and had a most enjoyable time; the biodiversity in the montane habitat is amazing. The location of the lodge and view is really hard to beat, and although the rooms are fairly basic this did not distract from the fact we had a very nice and different nature experience. The complementary walks including the farm visit was an added bonus. The guide Nicky and Claire did a marvelous job.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PolarbearSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Utah
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2013

We only had a couple of nights at this lovely wilderness lodge and found there was more to do than we could work into that time. We had one of the newer king rooms and really enjoyed the size and nature of the furnishings. The deck for two is a very nice addition and the views were beautiful of the surrounding mountains. The guests were a congenial mix of nationalities and ages. Dinner and breakfast were part of our daily fees and we found the fare to be quite acceptable. I cannot say that it was fantastic, but it was good. Dining service is a bit hit and miss but all with good cheer. Pre dinner cocktails and wine are not included rather charged to your room and appetizers are not served prior to dinner. Wine with dinner is also not included. The only WiFi available is in the common area, referred to as "the snug room" I believe, and guests are offered $10 worth access for their stay and can purchase more if needed. In keeping with the Eco lodge atmosphere, rooms are not equipped with TV or air conditioning. We didn't need either but one may want to be aware of this if planning a trip to the area. Also, cell phones do not have any access in this little nook of the island, only at the top of the pass. Michael, the naturalist, offered many opportunities to get out on the land however we did not have a chance to access his knowledge. The lodge offers helpful advise for finding trail heads and provides useful maps. The staff are very friendly however do not consider themselves to be concierges. When asked to reconfirm an airline for us, it was suggested that we do it ourselves since we were planning to go the the top of the pass where cell phones function. That seemed a little strange after all the smiles and encouraging words but left a strange taste, I will admit. All in all, it's a nice place to stay but terribly pricy. There is no pool or fitness room (and not really needed) other than the great outdoors!

Room Tip: The King rooms in the new quadrant are lovely and very private.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank camille09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2013

Great location and wonderful staff, full stop. After that it misses on just about everything else.

Lobby is old and tired, room furniture is low quality and not comfortable, bathroom are just basic. Dinner was above average but breakfast was below average. I have stayed at many wilderness type lodges more remote than this so that is no excuse for not hitting the high marks that a lodge with this price point should meet. It seems that every corner that could be cut ,was, even down tho the poor coffee. In addition the extras lack value for money. $25NZD for a bread sandwich and dollar or two worth of other items. Options in this area are limited and the lodge takes full advantage of this. This is nearly at $1000 per night stay.

Room Tip: upper level you can't sit on the deck (too small) lower room misses the view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mike s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tawaki, Manager at Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass, responded to this review, 18 February 2013
Thank you for your comments and we are sorry that you were disappointed with your stay. We pride ourselves on providing a comfortable and stylish wilderness retreat and we maintain the lodge facilities to the highest standards.

With respect to the specific issues raised here, we use quality Hummingbird coffee and our picnic lunches consist of hearty club sandwiches, fresh home baking, fruit, energy bars & premium juice. On our guided nature discovery trips this is supplemented with a selection of teas, coffee & hot chocolate.

We strive to offer all our guests an exceptional wilderness experience and are disappointed that you feel we did not achieve this. Please accept our apologies. We are happy to hear that you found our team friendly and helpful and that you appreciated the lodge’s natural setting.

Kind regards,
Michael & Claire McSweeney
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
51 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2013

Over recent years of worldwide travelling this reviewer has managed to put into practice that well-worn maxim that "less is more" & has learnt that by trying to do and see more of any particular country or region will achieve relatively little, save for "ticking boxes" on one's travel C.V.

On our second visit to New Zealand last month my Wife and I committed to spending three weeks solely on South Island and in particular the Southern Alps and Fiordlands in order to hike, kayak and experience the flora, the fauna, the mountains, rivers and lakes of this very special part of the world.

It proved without doubt to be a very wise decision and an integral part of our itinerary was spent in separate three day stays at both Wilderness Lodges at Lake Moeraki and Arthur's Pass respectively.

In order to benefit from staying at these lodges it's simply not worth it in my opinion to treat them as mere overnight stops and in truth the owners would much prefer that you take the opportunity to experience not only the basic facilities on offer which are on the side of very adequate rather than luxurious , but more importantly the guided walks and hikes within their immediate spectacular environments.

Whilst the early morning, late afternoon and evening activities are complimentary the guided nature daytime activities are charged depending on the number of guests participating but roughly in the $120 - 150 range pp.

Wilderness Lodge at Arthur's Pass was our last stop on our South Island trip & was a wonderful choice of location to bring our vacation to its conclusion. When the sun shines in a cloudless blue sky there is no better place you want to be - the walks both on and off the Property are spectacular and their best Alpine Room is spacious, extremely well equipped with a stunning forest view.

Because of poor visibility unfortunately we missed out on our heli-hike in the Glaciers but our challenging hike up the Bealey Valley with Nicky, a very competent and knowledgeable guide, to the remains of what had been a glacier, more than made up for that disappointment.

The whole area is a tramper's paradise and if you want to have some comfort and great amenities Wilderness Lodge is a great base and one where you can get to know the ecology and encironment with some of the friendliest people you're likely to meet on your NZed jouney!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank nigor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2013

My husband and I stayed at Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge for one night on our honeymoon to New Zealand. Coming from Colorado, we felt at home in the beautiful Arthur's Pass area. The drive from the west coast is spectacular, and the mountain views are stunning!

The staff at the lodge are incredibly friendly, and we felt welcome from the moment we walked in the big wooden doors. Their was a laundry room on site, so we got some laundry going, and then went down to the lounge for cocktails before dinner.

We spent some time drinking wine and paging through books in the library before having a delicious dinner of ingredients that were either grown or farmed onsite. Delicious is an understatement!

The view from our room was so gorgeous that we ran out of adjectives to describe how wonderful it was! The Arthurs Pass region is breathtaking, and the spectacular views from our balcony allowed us 270 degrees of viewing pleasure!

The next morning Michael took us down to the sheep paddock where we watched their collie Tess herd the sheep. Not only did we get to feed the sheep, but we got to feed a bottle to Tiny, the sweetest little lamb, and I even got to hold her (I was too excited for words, she was so soft!!!!) She followed us as we went on a tour of the shearing shed, where we learned a ton about the process and different types of sheep & wool. Very informative and interesting to learn the details of such a big industry in New Zealand.

We went back up to the lodge for breakfast, which was even better than dinner! It was a pricey bill, but we felt it was worth it, and should we find our way back down to NZ again, we will be going back.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jesse M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass

Property: Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass
Address: Cora Lynn Road | 16km east of Arthurs Pass Village, Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Arthur's Pass National Park
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Arthur's Pass National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy stylish accommodation, fine food, and an exciting and diverse programme of guided nature and sheep farming adventures in the heart of the Southern Alps. The lodge sits on a 4000 acre working sheep farm and nature reserve, surrounded by the peaks of Arthur's Pass National Park. Guests can unwind in comfort or choose more active relaxation. Explore private trails or join an expert guide to hike alpine valleys, search for wildlife, and kayak upon mountain lakes. A highlight for guests are the sheep farm discovery trips every second afternoon. Join a farmer guide to watch sheepdogs working, hand feed lambs and learn about sheep shearing and merino wool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass Hotel Arthurs Pass

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